Drama as derbies take centre stage
There were massive derbies in Argentina, Chile and Mexico, state championships are up for grabs in Brazil, while in Korea Republic unfancied sides are upsetting the status quo. FIFA.com takes a look at the latest action in various leagues across the globe.
Argentinian Clausura: Velez prove their worth
Velez Sarsfield reaffirmed their resolve in recording a solid 2-0 win over Arsenal a week after taking the lead at the top of the Clausura standings. Velez remain the only unbeaten team after ten matches with their 15 goals to date evidence of a solid if unspectacular showing in the second half of the campaign. The result proved enough to maintain a slender one-point lead over Colon and former leaders Lanus. There is a further five-point gap to Huracan and River Plate as the gap between the pacesetters and the chasing chasing pack widens.
Big game: As always, all eyes were on Buenos Aires for the latest instalment of the superclasico between River Plate and Boca Juniors at a colourful Bombonera. Each side scored in the second half to ensure parity in the 184th edition of the encounter, leaving Boca on 12 points, nine from the summit.
Headline grabber: Former Argentina and Paris St Germain midfield schemer Marcelo Gallardo converted a stunning 25-metre free-kick to earn a draw for his River Plate side. Boca had the better of the opening hour and were rewarded with a goal from Martin Palermo, before Gallardo stepped up to the mark to take the spotlight in the absence of Boca's injured playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme.
Brazilian state championships: Honours up for grabs
Santos and Corinthians will do battle in the two-legged final of the Paulista after each recorded wins on the weekend in the largest of the regional championships in Brazil. A Ronaldo-inspired Corinthians defeated Sao Paolo 2-0 for a 4-1 aggregate win, while Santos beat Vanderlei Luxemburgo's Palmeiras 2-1 on Saturday, winning 4-2 on aggregate. Flamengo beat Botafogo 1-0 in Rio de Janeiro's Carioca championship courtesy of an Emerson own goal. The win saw Flamengo claim the second stage, and with Botafogo winning the first stage earlier in the year, the two will meet again twice more to decide the state championship.
Big game: Internacional ran riot in scoring a remarkable seven first-half goals on the way to beating Caxias 8-1. Needing a win to guarantee the Rio Grande do Sul championship, the 2006 FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2006 winners did just that in emphatic style with Magrao and Nilmar leading the way with two goals apiece.
Headline grabber: Former FIFA World Player of the Year Ronaldo scored for the sixth time since his return from a year-long absence with a knee injury. Significantly, the 32-year-old showed signs of his old speed in outpacing his marker over 30 metres before chipping a shot over the advancing goalkeeper near the hour-mark.
Chilean Apertura: Champions rise to the occasion
Union Espanola confirmed their championship credentials with a 3-1 away win over third-placed Santiago Morning. Second-half strikes from Gustavo Canales and Jorge Ampuero cancelled out Jaime Grondona's equaliser on the hour to extend Union Espanola's lead to ten points. Audax Italiano maintained their drive for a play-off berth with a hard-fought 2-1 away victory over O'Higgins to remain in fourth.
Big game: Colo Colo ended a rare six-game winless run by overcoming arch-rivals Universidad de Chile with a 3-1 triumph in front of 42,000 at the Estadio Nacional. However, the Santiago giants are still seven points behind their rivals and a massive 17 points off runaway leaders Union Espanola.
Headline grabber: Last season's leading goalscorer Lucas Barrios enjoyed a much-needed return to form with his two strikes in the first half helping Colo Colo recover from a slump that is threatening to ruin their season. The 24-year-old Argentinian took his tally for the season to eight, climbing to fourth in the top scorers list.
Mexican Clausura: All still to play for
Guadalajara claimed bragging rights in Mexico after a narrow 1-0 victory over America in one of the traditional highlights of the domestic calendar. Sergio Ponce's headed goal with 22 minutes remaining proved enough to separate the sides as Guadalajara moved to second, just two points clear of their rivals. The win also gave former national team assistant coach Francisco Ramirez a perfect start at the club. A nine-match unbeaten run for Atlas came to a shuddering halt as they lost 4-1 to a rejuvenated Santos Laguna, who again won after losing their previous six outings.
Big game: Toluca had the distinction of becoming the first club to reach the quarter-finals but it took a last-minute winner to see off Jaguares 1-0. Strapping 26-year-old defender Edgar Duenas was the hero with his late header being the difference between the two sides.
Headline grabber: Guadalajara goalkeeper Luis Michel covered himself in glory making several crucial stops to deny an America side shorn of championship top scorer Salvador Cabanas through injury. The charismatic Michel made at least three spectacular stops in the second period as America desperately searched for an equaliser.
Korean K-League: Surprise leaders maintain edge
The sixth round of the K-League saw four stalemates in seven matches, with leaders Gwangju Sangmu and second placed Jeonbuk Motors both coming from behind to earn 1-1 draws with Chunnam Dragons and Pohang Steelers on the road. FC Seoul and Incheon United, who were held to goalless draws at home by Daegu FC and Suwon Bluewings respectively, are level on eight points, five adrift of the surprise leaders. Seongnam Chunma moved into fifth thanks to a heroic performance of Kim Jin-Yong, who scored the equaliser and set up the winner in a 2-1 win at Daejeon Citizen.
Big game: Struggling Busan I'Park escaped from bottom spot with their first victory of the season, in which Korea Republic forward Jeong Shung-Hoon scored his fourth goal this term that sealed the 2-0 derby win over Gyeongnam FC at home.
Headline grabber: Kim Gi-Dong extended his record as the oldest scorer in the top flight, with the Pohang captain curling in a free-kick on the stroke of half-time to renew the record at the age of 37 years and 95 days.
In the Chinese Super League, two 2002 FIFA World Cup™ scorers stole the show with former Polish star Emmanuel Olisadebe and Korean Republic's golden boy Ahn Jung-Hwan on target to help their respective sides to wins. Olisadebe struck his fourth goal in as many games when he opened scoring in Henan Jianye's 2-0 win over Changsha Ginde, their fourth win which moved the unfancied side to top of the standings after five games. At the same time, Ahn secured a brace in Dalian Shide's 3-1 triumph against Hangzhou Lucheng that saw the eight-time Chinese champions move into sixth.